Government challenged to address children’s needs.

A traditional leader in Chipata District has called on government to address challenges school going children face in their respective communities.

Speaking during the commemoration of the Day of the African Child yesterday, Chief Kapatamoyo of the Ngoni people, says children, especially those in rural areas, face a number of challenges, which should be addressed by government.

And the traditional leader says parents and guardians have a big role to play in transforming their children into responsible citizens.

He says the trend of marrying off girls at a tender age, should be condemned by well-meaning Zambians.

The traditional leader says marrying off children at a tender age, has greatly affected their wellbeing, a trend which should be stopped immediately.

And a grade seven pupil of Nyakutwa Primary School, Thandiwe Khosa, says the plight of children, especially a girl child can be safeguarded if they are educated.

Thandiwe says issues affecting children such as early marriages, will be reduced if many children are educated and empowered.

Construction works of 11 dip tanks have stalled.

Construction works of eleven dip tanks have stalled in Eastern Province due to government’s delay in paying money to the contractors.

Provincial Veterinary Officer, Author Mumbolomena, told Breeze News that the 11 dip tanks are out of the 66 whose construction works started in 2014.

He says the department has not yet paid the contractors for part of the works done on the dip tanks.

Dr. Mumbolomena says construction works for the 11 dip tanks will resume as soon as the department receives the remaining project funds from government.

He, however, did not disclose how much money government owes contractors for the construction of dip tanks.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mumbolomena says construction works on over 55 dip tanks, have been completed at a cost of about six million Kwacha.

He says all the completed dip tanks are operational across the region.

Dr. Mumbolomena says the construction of dip tanks across Eastern Province ,will assist curb East Coast fever and other tick borne diseases, which are common in cattle.

Nurse in Sinda fired for stealing drugs

The Ministry of Health in Eastern Province has fired a nurse from Sinda district after being convicted by the court for pilferage or stealing hospital drugs.

Provincial Medical Director, Abel Kabalo says the province has recorded cases of pilferage in Sinda and Lundazi districts.

Dr. Kabalo says he also has reports that some of the medicines from hospitals are being used in chicken runs, which is not a good thing.

Dr. Kabalo says the province has a challenge of test kits resulting from such acts of pilferage.

He was speaking when addressing pharmacists in Chipata this morning as they start the commemoration of Pharmacy awareness week.

Dr. Kabalo urged the pharmacists to guard medicines jealously so that they can sustain their intended purpose of saving the community.

He says it is the duty of Pharmacists and other medical personnel to be pharmaceutical vigilant to avoid pilferages.

And Eastern Province Principal Pharmacist, Joseph Lungenda, says pharmacists in Chipata are commemorating the week by sensitizing the community in Chipata on the dangers of drug abuse.

Mr. Lungenda noted with concern the abuse of antibiotics by people, who treat themselves with drugs without prescription from medical personnel.

UPND urges government to announce maize floor price

The opposition UPND, United Party for National Development in Eastern Province has challenged government to announce the maize floor price.
Provincial Information and Publicity Secretary, Victor Mbuzi told Breeze News that government through FRA, the Food Reserve Agency should quickly announce the maize floor price in order for farmers to have a choice of where to sale their produce.
Mr Mbuzi says the issue of moisture content cannot prevent government from announcing the maize floor price.
He says FRA should offer a price of not less than 100 kwacha for a 50 kilogram bag of maize, so that farmers cover the cost used during their farming activities.
And Mr Mbuzi alleged that the statement that government will reduce the number of buying depots in this year’s marketing season will disadvantage some farmers, who will be subjected to walking long distances to the markets.
And Mr Mbuzi says the prices currently offered to farmers by private buyers on some crops such as soya beans are a mockery.
He says private buyers are swindling farmers by offering low prices because government does not buy other farm produce such as soya beans, sunflower and groundnuts.

Chadiza District records an increase of 68 percent in maize production.

Chadiza District has this year recorded an increase of 68 percent in maize production.

This is despite challenges that the district faced during the last rain season ,such as flush floods and attacks of crops by army worms and maize stalk borers.

Chadiza District Commissioner, George Phiri says the district has recorded a total of 19,600 metric tonnes of maize this season ,translating to 68 per cent increase.

Mr. Phiri says the district has produced a total of 48,455 metric tonnes, as compared to last year’s 28,850 metric tonnes of maize.

Mr. Phiri says the increase in production is as a result of favourable rainfall pattern and increase in the number of farmers benefiting from FISP, the Farmer Input Support Program.

He says the district received 1,528.3 millimetres of rainfall, in the 2016/2017 farming season, which was above normal rainfall for the district which normally receives 700 to 800 millimetres of rain.

Mr. Phiri has however, advised farmers on the need to exploit the district potential ,by diversifying in the agriculture sector if they are to attain food security and ensure increased incomes.

He says this implies venturing in various agricultural enterprises such as crops, livestock, fish, fruits and processing of raw materials, for value addition and better returns.

The District Commissioner says farmers ,must take up farming as a business and invest in proven agricultural technologies that are more reliable and profitable.

He was speaking during this year’s Agriculture and Commercial Show, which was celebrated under the theme, “Promoting a Green Economy“.

Border water and sanitation project delays

The 15.7 million Kwacha project of improving water and sanitation at Mwami, Mchinji and Chanida borders is at 70 percent complete.

Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Managing Director Lyton Kanowa says the project was expected to be completed in May but has delayed due to lack of water in 3 boreholes at Mwami border.

The cross boarder project funded by CRIDIF, a British company commenced in February.

Mr. Kanowa says his office asked for extra time from the funders and was given up to July 30th 2017.

He was speaking during the tour of the project by Luangeni Member of Parliament, Charles Zulu at Mwami border this morning.

Mr. Kanowa explained that the project include, drilling of five boreholes, constructing a water supply network, ablution blocks and water kiosks.

Mr. Kanowa says once completed, the project will benefit travelers and about 3,000 people living along the borders whose houses will be connected to water supply.

Government challenged to monitor pre-schools

The Ministry of Education has been challenged to be carrying out regular checks on pre-schools in Eastern Province.

Some community members have observed that some pre-schools are set up in places that are not conducive for children.

Speaking during the Voice Program on Breeze FM, Onolia Zulu, noted that some of the pre-schools do not have proper sanitary facilities.

During the same program, it was also observed that some schools are not following the policy of using local languages in lower grades.

It was observed that most private schools have continued using English even in lower grades, a situation which left some people wondering why the policy only applies to public schools.

And another parent, Benson Phiri, emphasized the need for senior education officers to be monitoring operations of schools.

He said some of the policies fail to due to lack of monitoring of implementation.

Ms. Zulu and Mr. Phiri also encouraged the Ministry of Education to work with local authorities, so that more public pre-schools can be opened in districts.

They noted that the council has a lot of buildings, which are now being used by people to set up private pre-schools, a situation they said is only benefiting a few people with money.

But Provincial Senior Education Officer, in charge of open and distance learning administration circles, Batra Kasimbo, said private schools are also supposed to follow the policy.

On the setting up of pre-schools, he explained that the Ministry of Education has guidelines on the standards to be followed before such schools are set up.

He noted that communities also need to be fully engaged in ensuring that pre-schools are opened in right places.


Pupils forced to learn from classrooms without roofs

Some pupils in Chief Mumbi’s area of Petauke District are learning in classrooms without roofs.

Chief Mumbi told Breeze News that this is after the roofs of the affected classrooms where blown off, by heavy rains experienced during the last rainy season.

The traditional leader says authorities should quickly move in and repair the affected classrooms.

The chief mentioned Mkuntha Primary, as one of the affected schools in the area.

The traditional leader says government through the Ministry of Education, should also consider connecting Mtumbata Secondary School to the national electricity grid.

He says electricity is needed at the school, because pupils find challenges to study in the evening.

A new drug used to treat hepatitis launched in Chipata.

Government says hepatitis, a condition that affects the human liver, is a number one killer disease in the world as compared to HIV/AIDS and Malaria.

Eastern Province Administrative Officer, Steven Tembo, expressed worry that most people do not realize the devastating impact, that the disease has on humans worldwide.

Mr. Tembo was speaking in Chipata yesterday during the launch of a new capsule called Heptovit Herbal SoftGel which treats liver diseases.

The launch was being done by an organisation called Save Your Liver Foundation Zambia.

Mr. Tembo says ,Save Your Liver Foundation Zambia, is one of the organizations promoting people’s health in the country and will be supported by government because many people especially those suffering from hepatitis, will benefit from the medicine.

Mr. Tembo says government is committed to having a health nation as demonstrated through construction of health facilities, throughout the country.

He says the World Hepatitis Alliance, has a vision of eliminating hepatitis in the World by 2030 ,adding that people in the SADC region, should move in that direction.

And Save Your Liver Foundation Zambia President, Petterson Owusu, says the medicine has undergone tests in Ghana and Nigeria, where it has proved to be working effectively.

Dr. Owusu says Heptovit SoftGel Capsule, once prescribed to a patient, takes six weeks for the liver to come to normal.

Hepatitis is caused by consumption of alcohol, drugs, cigarette, chemical pollution and viral induced.


Defilement and suicide cases topping in Eastern Province

Eastern Province is recording cases of defilement and suicide almost every day.

Eastern Province Police Commissioner, Alex Chilufya, who confirmed this to Breeze News, says that defilement cases are on an increase despite perpetrators being arrested.

Mr. Chilufya attributed the increase in cases of defilement to cultural matters that have do to with social economic issues while some are purely criminal cases.

Mr. Chilufya says police have intensified community sensitisations to make people understand the dangers that defilement has on society and know the cause so that the vice is stopped.

He added that organisations such as the United Nations and World Vision have also come on board to assist curb defilement.

Mr. Chilufya explained that defilement is a serious case that affects girls, who become traumatised for the rest of their lives and disturbs their future.

He added that other common case being reported at the police stations in the Province is suicide, whose cause is not yet known.

The police commissioner says police officers are investigating the root cause of suicide cases because they are being reported every other day.